Curtain Stretchers

Surely:  You remember when the windows of almost every house were adorned with lace curtains; and since the lace offered almost no privacy: Roll-Down window shades were also required.

The shades were rolled onto a wooden rod that housed a spring. Metal clips on each end held the spring in place with a wind-up key on one end. Winding this key during installation put tension on the spring thus allowing the shade to be rolled up easily by releasing the tension. A wooden strip inserted into the bottom of the shade added weight to keep the shade taut. Rolling the shades up in the morning allowed sufficient light and any breezes into the room through the delicate curtains.

A major problem with these decorative curtains was that the windows were usually opened during the summer months due to lack of air conditioning. This resulted in all of the outside dust and pollutants to be captured within the fibers of the lace.

In order for the family not to be considered ˜RIF-Raff,’ these delicate curtains were hand-washed at least twice each season along with the ladies ‘Unmentionables’ in warm water and a generous amount of Lux Flakes”. Immediately after washing, the lace was starched and attached to Curtain Stretchers” to dry.

Curtain Stretchers were adjustable strips of wood that could be assembled into roughly the same size as the curtains. Sharp nails on each of the four strips held the curtains after the starch was applied. The entire frame was then adjusted to stretch the curtain to its proper size. All Curtains of the same size could be stretched together.

Acting on the popularity of Curtain Stretchers, some entrepreneur invented PANT-STRETCHERS.”  These were nothing more than aluminum frames that could be inserted into the legs of trousers and adjusted to keep the legs tight and wrinkle free while drying. Adding a little Argo Starch to the pants assured a sharp crease in the trousers when dry.

These primitive innovations saved the lady of the home many hours of heating flatirons on the wood cook stove and laboring over an ironing board. It would be quite a few years before wash-day consisted of merely dropping the laundry into a machine and then transferring to another machine for drying.

Then came permanent press and wrinkle free garments, Venetian Blinds and Draperies, thus eliminating the need for Curtain and Pant Stretchers. These items were relegated to the attic or deep inside a closet until they became items of great demand at “FLEA MARKETS”; or disposed of; through the auspices of “E-BAY”.

Demijon

“REMEMBER?” “SURE.” “YOU?”

I go back to what some folks refer to as the ‘Good Old Days.’ Their primary reasoning for this description of the 1930’s is that they have heard, from ‘us old folks that a pair of shoes could be purchased for $1.89; or a shirt for $0.98.

They have not taken into consideration that one would have to work for better than two days to earn enough for these expenditures. In those days, an Adult’s weekly wages would have amounted to less than the money that many of today’s Children receive as an ‘Allowance’.   So-Called; “Allowances,” were something enjoyed by the ‘Rich?’ ‘City?’ Children and something that Rural Kids only dreamed about.  Any monies that they were able to earn were combined to help keep the Wolf from the door.

I suppose the fact of the financial situation of most families during and just after the depression was, at best, despondent; is the reason that even now:  “I cannot bring myself to pay $150.00 or $200.00 for a pair of shoes.”   As the economy improved, more modern conveniences were added to the lives of rural Americans. A couple of these conveniences; were the Automobile and the Telephone.

The automobile was perhaps the most helpful for the Rural families, since they could travel distances in a few hours that would take all day in a horse-drawn wagon.  However: Very few of today’s citizens are aware that their cost for a tank of gasoline for their $25-30,000.00 Automobiles  is more than the average adult’s wages for a Month.

Now comes the Telephone, the first of which was a wall-mounted box with a crank that rang into “CENTRAL:” Where a pleasant voice would say,Number, Please:”  If we didn’t know the number, all that was necessary was to ask Central to ring ‘DOCTOR PERVIS’.

If the call was confidential, we would simply, have to ask “Mrs. Belton and Mrs. Smith,” (two of several people on our party line) to hang up.  They felt the need to help; if any of their neighbors had a problem that would require a “Ring to CENTRAL.”

Certainly, we were not asked to press or say English. Nor were we asked to press or say a number; if we wanted an appointment, or were asking about a bill, etc”.

These computer-driven telephones have been a thorn in my side for several years. Dialing a number and being asked to say what language I want to speak; or to listen to, really grates on my “Last Nerve”.

Hey, Look!:  This is America and we are Americans, talking on an American telephone. If different languages are so important to the ones we are calling, they should hire an interpreter to answer their damned telephone. I seriously doubt if any other country worries about whether or not we can understand when we make a call on their telephone.

“Okay:  I’ll quit ‘bitching’ now.”

”Demijon

:)

“MONEY” “MONEY”

When I finally left the work force after more years than I care to recall, I was determined to concentrate on things that I enjoyed, rather than the tasks that heretofore, had been delegated by someone else. I would sleep late, lounge in pajamas, until the spirit moved me to do something constructive.

My Formal dress, NOW,  consists of the shirt-tail hanging outside of a pair of ragged K-Mart shorts.  If a job was not to my liking, I could “JUST SAY NO.”

Independence was finally mine and I intended to take full advantage of this opportunity to do as I darned well pleased. Well: let me be the first to reiterate that it didn’t work out exactly as I had planned.

First: The habit of awakening early was so deeply ingrained within my mind, that it was impossible for me to remain in bed past the usual 5:00 AM.   A list of “honey-dos” greeted me from notes left on the breakfast table instead of the morning paper. I had learned very quickly; just how much coffee to put in the pot, in order to “don’t make it too strong.”

Sorting through the notes, the first of which stated “wake me before 8:00 because I have bridge today.” I discovered that bread had been forgotten on the last trip to the Grocery; and “will you please pick up a loaf.” On another was written, “I need gas in my car, and while you are out, please buy more bird seed.” “Vacuum and dust;” said another note, and so on until it was time for me to go to my part-time Job.

Working part-time as a Handyman for “walking around money;” had almost turned into a full-time job; with the exception of the compensation. The snickers from the Bank Tellers, when I would present my tiny check; attested to the fact that I would never become wealthy in this line of work. The check was usually barely enough to; “Pick up a book of stamps.”

Upon returning home, I would discover that the neighbors have been complaining about the sad plight of our yard and “Will you please mow and weed the lawn?” Before I finished mowing, I would be told that we were having dinner with the Smiths and; “You can’t go looking like that!”

Arriving at the Smiths; We found that they had just returned from a “CRUSE”, and had been playing Golf all day. They informed me that they both “ENVY” me for not having anything to do; and they wished that they could be as “Laid Back” as I am.   Little did they know that; all the years I spent in the workplace were nothing like as hectic as my retirement life.

While employed; I was only required to do two things: “#1 was to show up: When I was scheduled:   # 2, was to be there on time.  Now: There is only a beginning schedule. There is no such thing as a Vacation: And the PAY ain’t nothing like as good, either.

Demijon !

However:  There is a “worth-while” plus to this arrangement:  “YOU GET TO SLEEP WITH THE BOSS:”  “FOR FREE;”  No Less. Dj.

And that’s ‘th truth

“SURVIVORS”

We were born in an era before the invention of such (unheard of) items as; Television, Plastic, Velcro, Computers, Credit Cards, McDonalds, Video Games, Toys-R-Us, Roller Blades, Rap Music, Discount Warehouses, Jet Planes, Air Conditioning, Microwaves, Cassette Recorders, The Amazing Vegamatic, and many, many more items that today’s society considers indispensable.  Our period of time was even before the Man IN the Moon became the Man ON the Moon.  Our hero, Buck Rogers, was the only successful space traveler.

We are survivors simply because we were taught at a very early age to make do. The country was emerging from the worst financial catastrophe in history, The Great Depression.  Jobs were practically unobtainable and any product or service was almost impossible to sell; therefore, the proverb of, waste not-want not, was strictly adhered to.

When the last strand of thread was removed from a wooden spool, we immediately sawed it in half and it became wheels for a child’s miniature car.  Larger spools were converted into wind-up tractors by notching the outer edges and adding rubber bands and a small stick.  Thousands of miles of roads for these vehicles were constructed anywhere there was soft sand.  Empty snuff tins filled with sand, leveled and packed these thoroughfares.  Most importantly, this pastime cost no more than an imaginative mind.

We made rifles and pistols from any scrap of board that was not needed for repairs to the house or out buildings.  Shaping the board into a replica of a gun was accomplished with a hand saw and a pocket knife.   Clothespins were attached to the butt ends to hold a strip of a discarded inner tube which was stretched to the end of the barrels.  The operation of these weapons was simplicity itself.  Aim the piece at the intended victim, depress the clothespin and the strip of rubber would quickly disable your enemy.

Bicycles were cost prohibitive for most of our families. Mechanical means of becoming mobile for many of us was in the form of metal roller skates which were clamped to the soles of shoes and tightened with a metal key. These were of little use to those of us who did not have access to sidewalks, parking lots and paved streets.  The deep sand of rural America guaranteed many scraped elbows and knees. The grinding sound from the metal wheels rolling on any paved surface announced ones presence, especially early on a Christmas morning.  If we lost the key, we were out of business until Parker’s Department Store began its, (annual), going out of business sale.

Another method of innovative travel was through the use of homemade stilts, (tom-walkers).  We fashioned these from cast-off strips from a nearby saw mill. They elevated the rider anywhere from six inches to one foot.  We were considered proficient with these when we could run while using them at the one foot level.

Games of the times were usually Chinese Checkers, Old Maid Cards, Set-Back, Rook, Marbles and Hop-Scotch.  We played baseball with a string-wound ball, a retired work glove and a bat trimmed from a slab, (again from the nearby saw mill).

The nearest thing to fast food was served to us in a converted railroad car that specialized in hot dogs and Bologna sandwiches if we were fortunate enough to have an extra ten cents which was not needed for family emergencies.

We basked in the only air conditioned building in town, the Theater.  A huge fan was positioned behind the screen and in back of a water-soaked curtain or a tray which held a 100 pound block of ice.  The air blowing through the soaked curtain or across the ice kept the darkened building comfortable.  For .09 cents, we could stay cool for hours.

If our families were fortunate enough to own a battery powered radio, many of our neighbors would gather at our homes on certain evenings to listen to favorites like Lum & Abner, The Grand Ole Opry, Gang Busters, Amos & Andy, and, of course, The Lone Ranger.

Our hearing talk of live, color pictures being transmitted by air waves; walking on the surface of the moon; inserting a plastic card into a machine and receiving cash; corresponding with others via microchips in a computer and flying coast to coast in just over four hours was considered so much malarkey.  Anyone believing in these fantasies was characterized as a ‘nut-case.’

Yes.  We are survivors; Not by choice but by necessity.  We bear no permanent scars simply because we never knew we were deprived.

Who are we?

We were the inhabitants of a by-gone interval in time. We are senior citizens.

Demijon

As long as we have our memories, we don’t get old;  We get better.    Dj.

“GOING TO MILL!”

“Got a hankering for Cornbread?”   “No problem”.   “Just run down to the corner Grocery and decide whether you want:  “Muffin Mix”, “Plain” or “Self-Rising- Meal”, “Oven”, or “Microwavable”.

In the 1930’s -1940’s, this was much more complicated.  It required a trip to the Corn Crib to select the most matured ears of Corn reserved for grinding into Meal or Grits.  The bulk of the ears were fed to the Horses and Mules; and the “NUBBINS” were fed to the Hogs.  “# Very little was wasted”.  Dj.

The first operation was to shuck the ears while saving the shucks for ‘Cow Food’. If the farm was profitable?; stored somewhere near the Crib, was a hand-cranked Corn Ear Sheller, attached to a wooden box.

The husked ears were fed into the contraption and by turning the crank, the grains of corn were removed from the cob, falling into the box. The cobs were saved for scrap, Material: (“KINDLING”): To start fires with.

When a sufficient amount of Corn had been shelled, it was put in a clean, bleached, sack to carry to “Woodwards Mill” to be ground into Meal and / or Grits.  Since work around the farm must continue during suitable weather, ‘going to mill’ was reserved for a rainy day. 

If the need for meal was critical, a youngster would be dispatched to ride a Horse or Mule to the Mill; with the sack of Corn across the animals back.  The mill of choice for most farm families in our vicinity was one powered by water.

“Woodwards Mill;” was located beside the spillway of a huge lake with the discharged water funneled into the large waterwheel on one side.  When the gate was opened and the wheel turning, belts inside; moved the round stones with chiseled grooves around, that literally crushed the kernels into fine meal.

By raising the top stone slightly, the results were ‘THE GRITS.’  The Miller’s that usually operated the Mill, were well accustomed in the correct position for the stones; and “Woodward’s Mill” were well known, throughout our “Neck-of-the-Woods;” for perfection; in the Grinding of Corn. 

Their charge was to take a “TOLL” of “three or four ‘scoops,” from the sack of Corn, before pouring the rest into the hopper.  Grits were usually the last operation before (Shut-Down) of the Water-Wheel.

When the grinding was finished, the meal was scooped back into one sack and the Grits in another; as the youngster climbed onto the animal, and rested the warm Meal against his legs. 

The Miller then told the child:  “Tell your Daddy that this was the best corn I have ground this season;” and; ‘You be careful, now”  “Local Advertisement!”  No Less.

At home, the Meal was stored in a galvanized “Lard Stand” and sealed against any infestation. The family could now rest assured that there would be; Cornbread with every ‘Noon and Evening Meal; and Grits for every Breakfast.  It really couldn’t get any better, (“Or any cheaper;)          Right??               Demijon.

“LAUGH;” “LAUGH;” & “LAUGH.”

“HOLD ON; FELLOW!”   “Billy Bob” was prone to expound on his prowess with members of the opposite sex; to anyone who would take the time to listen.
He was relating his latest escapade to Bubba while they each nursed a long-neck Miller Hi-Life at the local Road House.  It went something like this.

“There I was; In her bedroom making passionate love while her husband was working on the night shift.  Suddenly, we heard a sound coming from the vicinity of the front door.  “It’s my husband, she screamed;  Hes home early!  You’ve got to get out of here!”

Billy Bob continued:  “Not taking the time to dress; I threw my clothes out of the window and climbed through behind them and clung to the window sash by the “tips of my fingers.” for the rest of the night.   “BOY:”  “Was I mad?”.

Bubba took a long pull from his Hi-Life bottle and said, “Man: You were lucky to get out with your hide intact.”  “Were you mad because you almost got caught?”

“Oh;  Hell, No!”  replied Billy Bob; “What really ‘GOT ME,’ was the fact; that ‘when Daylight broke; I found that the ground was only 6 inches below my feet.”

Enjoy;  DJ.

MAKES SENSE
Jethro drove his pickup truck into downtown Atlanta for the first time.  His ignorance of metropolitan street patterns was obvious when he turned onto a one way street and headed in the wrong direction.

He had gone several blocks when a police cruiser appeared behind him and signaled for him to pull over.  The officer approached the truck and in a loud voice asked: “Where in the hell do you think you’re going, Fellow?”

Calmly: Jethro answered;  ”I really don’t know, Officer:”  “But I reckon I’m late; because it sure looks like everybody else is going home.”

Enjoy; Again.  Dj

A Mouse was strolling through the park when he happened upon a small, rather-ugly, “Bird,” that was in the process of building his nest in a small tree.  They had chatted for a short time, just as two Gorgeous Models;  walked by.
The Mouse said, “Let’s catch up with them; buddy:”  “And we’ll climb up their legs.”

“NOT ME!”  said the Bird: “You know that I’m a “Titmouse;” don’t You?”

Enjoy; Again &  Again;  Dj.

CHEAPER TRANSPORTATION

The financial situation for most people, especially in rural America, was such that few families could continue owning an automobile. It was not uncommon to spot “MODEL-‘T,’ and “MODEL -‘A’  Ford’s;” parked under a shelter; and in some cases, simply abandoned.

However, this did not impede the need for more comfortable transportation other than the rickety, steel-tired Wagons and Buggies. Since power was available, without the outlay of money; in the form of “Horses and Mules;” innovative minds began working overtime and parts of the abandoned vehicles were converted to what was then known as “THE HOOVER CART.”

This nickname for this mode of transportation was applied by the mostly Democratic Farmers in the South, simply because President Herbert Hoover; (a Republican), just happened to hold the office of Chief Executive during “The Great Depression.”

The idea for this vehicle was simple enough. The rural axle, springs and wheels, were removed from an automobile and installed onto crude, home-made Carts.  Shafts were then attached for the purpose of hitching an animal to the contraption and, voila, The Hoover Cart was born. If one just happened to be mechanically minded, other parts of the cars could be used for a more comfortable ride.

With the price of gasoline reaching an all-time high:  My miserable mind has been searching for a less-expensive way of traveling. Granted, there is no way of converting today’s computer-driven cars into a likely, “HOOVER CART; but we could possibly adapt wheels from a bicycle; but there remains the matter of power. Perhaps a large dog would be feasible.

With our kind of luck, if we did succeed in creating this cheaper way of traveling, a Cartel among dog food Manufacturers would be formed and the price of dog food would Escalate.  

For instance: Dogs would have to be taught to eat “Tomato Sandwiches:”  HAY” for a Horse or Mule, would skyrocket to $150.00 per bale and “Corn” would sell for $195.00  a bushel; if these methods of power becomes the criterion.

Today’s cost for a pair of shoes is now upwards of $150.00:  therefore, walking is not an option for most of us.  What choice do the majority of us poor folks have?

I suppose the only alternative that many of us will have; is to eventually sit at home and “Just watch the Tractor rust.”

“Woe; be unto us!”  (An ‘Old Demijon Saying:)

Demijon

“IMAGINATION:” and a few “FUNNY” friends.”

To be truthful; When writing;  I lean heavily on events and/or ideas supplied by others.  Many of these folks have no idea that they will appear in print and do not recognize the final draft.  It is here that the imagination comes in

When an idea for an article is inadvertently presented, I assign it to a fictional character and build the story around either his good or bad points.  To add bulk to this article, it becomes necessary to include some of my own personal experiences, many of which are true.

For example:  To hear a friend remark that someone was wearing four inch spike, heels with a mini-skirt is hardly earth shattering.  Now, take the same remark and apply it to a situation where “Bubba” is describing the lady of the evening whom he had observed on DeKalb street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, and it becomes the epitome of innovative dialect, i.e.,

“I’ll tell ya’ll one thang:”  “That thare Gal:” “Her dress were so short; ‘she ‘JUS” “BOUT HAD 4 CHEEKS TA’  PAINT;  ‘stead uv two.” or, “Maw all’as tolt me iffen I looked at sumpin lak that thare, I’d go blind;  Howsomever, I figured I’d risk one eye.”

I suppose my favorites would be to take any unusual occurrence, and by relating it to my nondescript past; I can Create a story that will be interesting if not believable. As a child; during a time when there was little in the way of entertainment and even less money with which to avail oneself;  “Anything, unusual, did much to inaugurate the process of transforming ordinary events into amusing anecdotes.”  “Thus, the characters of Susie Mae, and Jay Henry, were born.”

The antics of this backwoods couple are purely fictional; however, much of the material was inspired by actual incidents which I encountered during my youth.  As any “good ‘ole Country Boy;” will attest: The humor of the “back-woods” stems from pure, unadulterated Americana.

Where else can you find the terms such as:  “I’ll slap yo’r jaws:”  “Git th’ dishrag an’ wipe th’ youngun’s nose, I can’t stan’ nast’ness:”   “Pa ain’t here rat now;”  “He’s in th’ back-house:” or   “Mazie; Iffen y’all don’t empty th’ slop jar, Maw’s gonna tan y’all’s butt !”

In most cases the recording of such incidents are simply for the enjoyment of the reader and have no similarity whatsoever to actual occurrences.  “They are provided as proof that if one possesses a Vivid Imagination, and a few Funny Friends!”   “The telling of tall tales is no big deal.”

Perhaps the hardest part is trying to remember all of these gems of wisdom, once you decide to write them down.  This is no minor task for someone like me who; when I make an attempt to record them, has trouble with the; “OFF” and “ON button” on a “Cumputtar thaet canotte spaell shee-itt.”   “Finis!”

Jay Henry

OBSERVATIONS

There was a time when I was not as attentive to patterns of misinterpretation among my fellow man; however, now that I am older and perhaps a little wiser, things really “get to me.”

For instance; Shopping for a pair of shorts at a well-known “Super Store;”  I maneuver my cart to the men’s department and find the rack containing hundreds of pairs of shorts.  The majority of these were size 28 through 36 and only one pair of size 42.  To compound the fracture, this pair was the color of  ‘Left-over Vomit’.

Now, my question is:   Are the buyers for this particular store, under the misinterpretation that the ones of us who have a big belly and gaunt legs are not to appear in public while wearing shorts?   I later found out,  that the same thoughts hold true in the shirt department.  If, by chance, we can locate a size large enough to contain our bulk, the tail will not cover our belt.

Again, there are hundreds of sizes 14, a few of size 15, but if we are lucky we may find “ONE” size 17; and it will be tucked underneath the rack, wrinkled and dirty.  Who decides that the only ones who have a need for a shirt are the small, trim, undernourished of the species?

Another problem is in the area of footwear.   While browsing; (again in a popular,             “Name Brand” Shoe Store);  I discovered that the majority of their stock consisted of ‘expensive jogging shoes’; “ankle hugging”, “tongue bulging, nylon” with “Tractor-Tire tread Soles;”  “Some, even containing air bladders and pumps.”

They apparently expect a person of my caliber, who becomes winded with even the thought of getting out of a lounge chair, to consider the purchase of a pair of “Running Shoes?“  Where were the glove-soft slippers with bunion protectors and the smooth tread that doesn’t jar the teeth when taking a step?

Let’s face it: The world in no longer geared to the mature.  Somewhere, someone has decided that the young are the only ones who matter.  Where the heck do they think the young gets their money?  “From us old folks, that’s where.”  Judging from the attire that  some of this younger set wears; it is my opinion that they have been forbidden to eat at the money trough for quite some time.

I firmly believe that the time has come for shop owners to realize that the ones of us with big bellies and a pension check are just as important as those scrawny, young dudes who have nothing but a “Credit Card” from “Toys ‘R’ Us.”

Demijon

 

Posted inUncategorized Edit

Observations

Posted on August 28, 2006 by John Sellers

            There was a time when I was not as attentive to patterns of misinterpretation among my fellow man; however, now that I am older and perhaps a little wiser, things really “get to me.”

*********************************************

            For instance, shopping for a pair of shorts at a well-known “super store.”  I maneuver my cart to the men’s department and find the rack containing hundreds of pairs of shorts.  The majority of these were size 28 through 36 and only one pair of size 42.  To compound the fracture, this pair was the color of pale vomit.

            Now, my question is:  Is the store under the misinterpretation that the ones of us who have a big belly and gaunt legs are not to appear in public while wearing shorts?

            The same holds true in the shirt department.  If, by chance, we can locate a size large enough to contain our bulk, the tail will not cover our belt.  Again, there are hundreds of sizes 14, a few of size 15, but if we are lucky we may find one size 17 and it will be tucked underneath the rack, wrinkled and dirty.  Who decides that the only ones who have a need for a shirt are the small, trim, undernourished of the species?

            Another problem is in the area of footwear.  While browsing in a name brand shoe store, I discovered that the majority of their stock consisted of expensive jogging shoes; ankle hugging, tongue bulging, nylon with tire tread soles and some even containing air bladders and pumps.  And they expect a person of my caliber, who becomes winded with even the thought of getting out of a lounge chair, to consider the purchase of a pair of “running” shoes?  Where were the glove-soft slippers with bunion protectors and the smooth tread that doesn’t jar the teeth when taking a step?

            Let’s face it, the world in no longer geared to the mature.  Somewhere, someone has decided that the young are the only ones who matter.  Where the heck do they think the young gets their money?  From us old folks, that’s where.  Judging from the attire that  some of this younger set wears; it is my opinion that they have been forbidden to eat at the money trough for quite some time.

            I believe that the time has come for shop owners to realize that the ones of us with big bellies and a pension check are just as important as those scrawny, young dudes who have nothing but a credit card from “Toys ‘R’ Us.”

Demijon

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They’re Our Neighbors.

Now, I ain’t never been ’round many uv’em ;but I’m heah ta tell ya, they’s strange. My daddy always told me, Said, “Son: “You git too close to one; an’ You’s bound to “Cotch sumpin.”  Like, they’us one come in th’ diner one day; when l;se a-eatin’ dinner an ‘jus “took ova.”

“Wander,  th’ waitress, she had put th’ quarter whot I had give her fer a tip in, th’ jukebox an’ Merle Haggard were asingin “Workin’ Man’s Blues”, an’ whotcha recon he done? ”

He marched rite ovah an, canceled thatun’ an’ hit th button fer one uv them rock an”roll records. “Jus’come rite in an’ took ovah.”  I told Wander that he needed a rock up â-‘side his head.

“That thare aint th’ wust uv hit, though. “Th ‘wust uv hit were;  “Maw had sont me ta’™ git her some bakin’ powders at th’ store t’other day an’ they’,us  jus’ a whole slew uv’ em in thare.

They wus a’millin’ round an a’buyin’ th’ quarest stuff.  “Stuff lack Petezers, Bagles an’ them big ole long saugages an.’  “I thinks ta’ myself:  ” I thinks;  “We aint never give rations lak that to th’hogs; say nothin’ ’bout eatin. hit ourselves;   “Yeah, they’s quare awright. An’ sassey, ‘ta’ beat th’  ban’.

Whot mos’-uv-um  needs, is a razor strop a’holt uv they behin’s. That thare’ud
simmer’ um down.  Kinda makes a feller wont to buy’em a bus ticket jus’ to git rid uv’em.

One day, Jessie Barlow wus a’drivin’ that ole truck uv his’n,  Th’ one whot th’ clutch’s always a’ silppin: “A hole bunch of ’em slipped up behint him an ‘commencet a’blowin’ they horn.   Now ole Jesse’us doin’ thâ’ bess he could,  an’ they jus’ kep-on a’tootin they horn’s.

Well’sr, Jessie, he stopped an’ taken that ole 12 gauge shotgun ouften th’ rack behint th” seat an pumped a load uv “BUCKSHOT” rite square in th’ middle uv they radeater.

Then he got out an;  “Flat laid a cussin’ on ‘um.”  . Jessie said he didn’t kere if they did call th’ law on him.  He said them Jailhouse Rations were better’n’ whot he had at home.  An’ that hi-fo-luttin talk, they uses jus’ plain gits me.  A feller can’t can’t unnerstan’ haff-‘â whot they say.

Lik thai time when one come out ta’ th’ Sawmill an axed me if I wud be so condescending, as to inform him of any local ordnance concerning trapshooting.  Hell: I ain’t never hyeard uv’ nobody wastin’ Shotgun Shells, when they’ done an’ got somethin’ trapped, anyhow: An I told him so;  “Well-sr;  He jus upped an sez”, “You are right close to a fool: aren’t you?”  

I jus rared back an’ sez ta him: I sez:  “You Damn Straight Feller!”  “JUS’  ‘BOUT THREE FOOT!”  

“Th’ sooner they learn’s that we ain’t gonns “put up wiff ‘Crap lak’ that thare.  Th’ sooner we’ll show ’em that we  ain’t gonna take nothin’ offin’em:  Thât’ll be the end of them  a’thinking that; “THEY’S BETTER ‘UN  US.”  “An’ Mayhaps Hit’ll learn-um sum’ sence.”

“If they don’t quit then:;”  “We’ve still got our;   “12 GUAGE,   “DOUBLE BARREL;” and  ‘Whole bunch uv’ smaller weapons; whot does our “talkin’; fur-us’.”    Dj.

Like I Say;  “Don’t mess with ’em: Cause, “They’s  QUARE!”  “Jus; “Leave ’em BE.”

“MY-SELF:”  “I  “MIS-DOU’T”s; That “EG-NORE’IN: ” Them’ll  do much good.”   “Thay ain’t never had “NO Raisin;s!!!” 

“Lett -un think that thay; “Won Th’ BIG WAR!:   “WE KNOW’S BETTER!”  

Arvell Wayne Bledsoe
As told to Jay Henry